Friday, 16 June 2017

Glasgow Equal Pay News



A reader asked me yesterday how people can help, practically speaking, in the fight for equal pay with Glasgow City Council.

So here are some thoughts and ideas for people to chew on.

Be positive in your public and/or private comments  
It's important to get across a positive message about the 'justice' of the claimants' case in Glasgow and just how badly the City Council's lowest paid employees have been treated over the years. 'Second class citizens' is the phrase that springs to mind which is quite incredible when you stop and think that almost 70% of the council workforce are women.

The battle with Glasgow City Council is coming to an end 
At the moment it's impossible to say how much longer things will take though it is fair to say that the Council suffered a major defeat at the recent Court of Session hearing in Edinburgh. The court has still to issue its decision on the A4ES-led challenge to the WPBR, but even now it's clear the council has dug itself into a big hole.

Glasgow is under new leadership
The old Labour council which is responsible for this mess has been replaced by a new SNP-led administration. Now that doesn't provide an instant or magic solution, but the new leader of the City Council (Cllr Susan Aitken) has signalled its intention to negotiate a settlement of this long-running dispute instead of continuing the battle in the courts.

Local Councillors, MSPs and MPs
Public campaigning on equal pay, as well as taking action in the courts, has helped get us to where we are today. As always, individual A4ES claimants have a crucial role to play since 'Many Hands Make Light Work'. Explaining the issues is what my blog site is all about and readers can help drag things out into the open by 'Sharing' and 'Liking' posts and by sending them on to local councillors, MSPs and MPs.

Pay Information
The political leadership of Glasgow may have changed, but council officials continue to drag their feet over the provision of information to explain the pay arrangements that flow from the WPBR. Speaking directly with some male workers in 'comparator' jobs would help get to the bottom of things and it stands to reason that A4ES clients in Glasgow will know council gardeners, refuse workers, gravediggers, road workers etc - they might be family members, neighbours or friends. If so, drop me a note (in confidence of course) to: markirvine@compuserve.com 

The role of the trade unions
The vast majority of equal pay claimants in Glasgow are now represented by A4ES because the local trade unions threw their lot in with senior council management long ago instead of standing up for their lowest paid members. Over the coming days I plan to share information on the blog site which highlights the extent of this 'union/management co-operation' and led, for example, to an arbitrary 'cap' being placed on equal pay compensation payments back in 2005. I am also happy to discuss and debate these issues with the trade unions in Glasgow and if there are union members out there who would like to arrange such a meeting, please get in touch with me by email.